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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Debate on Security Sector Reform

2023-03-17 11:35

Mr. President,

China welcomes Mozambique’s initiative to convene this important meeting. I thank Assistant Secretary-General Alexandre Zouev and Commissioner Bankole Adeoye for their briefings, and welcome the Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Slovakia to today’s meeting. 

Security sector reform in post-conflict environments is fundamental for consolidating peace and achieving development. In 2020, South Africa facilitated the adoption of Resolution 2553 on security sector reform while serving as a non-permanent member of the Council. We should seize the opportunity of today’s meeting convened under the Mozambique’s initiative to explore ways for security sector reform to effectively improve the ability of the countries concerned to maintain peace, stability and development. China would like to share the following points. 

First, adhering to the principle of national ownership. The Secretary General’s report last March emphasized that the principle of national ownership of security sector reform is fundational. Different countries have different histories, politics and cultures, and are at different stages of security sector development. Only a targeted and tailored approach can lead to success in this regard. South Sudan has made steady progress in implementing the security arrangements of the Revitalized Agreement, and has finished the first phase of the graduation of the unified forces. The Central African Republic has strengthened the deployment of local security forces to consolidate and expand state power. Mali has actively implemented the peace agreement and promoted the integration of 26,000 ex-combatants. These practices are in line with the political security situation of the countries concerned and the actual situation of the security sectors, and are conducive to maintaining peace and stability of the countries concerned. Imposing the so-called universal standards and “best practices” without considering the national circumstances and the urgent needs of the countries concerned may be counterproductive and may undermine the security sector of the countries concerned. 

Second, attaching importance to both security and development. Many post-conflict countries are faced with security threats such as armed groups, violent extremism and ethnic conflicts. Therefore, professional, efficient, and diligent security sectors are important guarantee for national development. Meanwhile, security sector reform is multifaceted and daunting, and cannot be done overnight. Security sector reform needs to align with national development plans and the level of economic and social development, and coordinate with the reforms in other fields such as economy and the rule of law. Such reforms need balanced resource allocation to gain lasting momentum and the support of all parties. Stronger efforts in poverty eradication and sustainable development will help provide a more solid material guarantee for security sector reform. The disarmament and demobilization of ex-combatants is a challenge for many post-conflict countries. Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and MONUSCO took on a development perspective in tackling this challenge, and have jointly developed and implemented a community-based DDR program to help former armed personnel find livelihoods, therefore removing the incentive for them to rejoin armed conflicts. Such work should continue in the future. 

Third, deepening partnership-building. Post-conflict countries face challenges such as inadequate capacity building and limited resources in promoting security sector reform. The international community and relevant UN agencies should earnestly provide constructive assistance in this regard, with a focus on intelligence, early warning, emergency response, logistics and other areas, and support for African countries in improving counterterrorism and security capabilities. UN missions such as MINUSCA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, and UNMISS are tasked with supporting security sector reform. It is necessary to strengthen communication with the countries concerned, and carefully design support plans in accordance with Security Council mandates. When it comes to downsizing and withdrawal of relevant missions, closer cooperation with the security sector of the countries concerned is essential, and orderly and responsible plans should be drawn up to avoid security vacuum. African countries and the AU have rich experience in security sector reform, and have valuable achievements such as the AU policy framework on SSR. China supports solving African problems in African ways, and supports the leadership of African regional organizations in this regard. We encourage countries to strengthen experience sharing to form synergies.

The China-UN Peace and Development Fund has prioritized assisting reforms of the security sector in Africa, supporting programs such as criminal justice responses, the development of national counterterrorism programs and training curricula with positive results achieved. China is willing to deepen cooperation with other international partners and strengthen support for Africa. 

Fourth, eliminating the negative impacts of sanctions. In recent years, Sudan, South Sudan, the DRC, the CAR, and other countries have strongly requested the Council to lift the arms embargo and other sanction measures, stating that these measures have seriously hindered the process of national security capacity building and security sector reform. The AU has adopted several relevant resolutions, and formed a common position. The Security Council should listen to Africa’s voice, pay attention to its concerns, take actions with the greatest sense of urgency, and promptly adjust and lift Council sanctions that are irrelevant, to remove obstacles to the development of the security sector in African countries. 

At the same time, some countries have taken unilateral coercive measures and abused long-arm jurisdiction. Such practices seriously violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and undermined the development and maintenance of security in developing countries that include African countries. Opposing unilateral coercive measures is a long-standing and consistent voice of the international community. We urge certain Western countries to immediately lift unilateral coercive measures to avoid continuing its negative impacts on the peace, stability, and humanitarian situation of the countries concerned. 

I thank you, Mr. President.

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